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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Son's boys only class canceled


Roseben031

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I found out last night that my son's boys only class is canceled for the year. It was the tap and jazz, not the ballet, but it was his favorite teacher and now we're not sure we're going to be able to get him into a different class with her. Classes all start next week and after thinking we were set (we registered back in June), and feeling REALLY happy with getting everything he wanted for the year - trying ballet, tap twice a week and that boys class with this teacher, I now I feel like we're scrambling.

 

I really loved him getting to take this boys class. I'm fine with him taking with girls and so is he, but having that class to go along with the other seemed a great balance. When he reaches Ballet 1 in a few years one of the ballet company schools has a boys ballet class, but that's two years away (the youngest age for it is 8).

 

Sigh. I'm just pretty blue about the situation and figured, even if wasn't the ballet class, that you all would understand.

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Your best bet may be to try doing some recruiting amongst his mates. The more children signed up for classes, the less likely they will be cancelled. I feel for your plight- not a whole lot of good advice, just sympathy! :D

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What a bummer. It's good that your son is okay with being in the girls classes though. My son's only boys only class is one of his ballet classes. He was too old for the general all boys dance class at one of his schools when he started dancing and I always regret that he didn't have the opportunity to have the experience to START out in dance in class full of boys to view a class full of boys as normal as opposed to a rarity.

 

The one thing I will say is that although I do think the experience of his all boys class has been wonderful, mainly because it is taught by a man who focuses more on what a male dancer needs to focus on, as he has spent more time in dance I have actually seen more improvement in him from the classes he has been in with the girls. Now he's only 8 so I'm sure that will change when he is older.

 

I know how disappointing it can be when you are hoping for more boys. We had several during the summer at one of my son's studios but none of the new ones stuck around for the fall classes.

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Roseben, I'm not sure this will help, but we're in a college town and learned that there are college boys (men?!) who teach tap and street funk at a local fitness club. Who knew?! Maybe there are other venues outside the studio where your son can experience all-boy dance. I observed a class where the college boys were teaching the little boys how to spin on their backs and their shoulders. The little boys LOVED it!

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Thanks for comiserating. I still haven't figured out what to do, but I do feel better for posting and you all replying. I tried speaking to a few people at work about it but it was clear they didn't see the problem.

 

I was able to reach his favorite teacher and she's really upset about the class being canceled too. She said he shows real potential and it's obvious how much he loves it. She still doesn't know what she's teaching, but she said if we couldn't get him into one of her other classes, she suggested doing private lessons with him, but I'm not sure that at 6-years-old it's the way to go (and she didn't mention price but the idea of it is a little scary).

 

I'm nervous about moving him because I don't think the school with the classes we'd like for this year has ANY boys. There is no mention of boys on the uniform requirements list, the website is all pink and there is even a comment about calling the dancers 'ballerina princesses'. I sent them an e-mail asking if they had any boys and haven't received a reply, which I'm not taking as a positive sign. The recent thread about dance teachers not being as understanding about boys and little boy energy is making me really nervous about switching to someplace where they possibly won't 'get' him. He LOVES to dance and gets so excited in class. When the teacher tells them what they're doing next he cheers and jumps up and down (his current school has closed circuit tv for parents to watch in the lobby). He does follow directions well, but anything that seems like down time, he's jumping up and down (a big part of the ballet draw for him, learning to jump really high :wub: )

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Update: They've put the class back on the schedule but moved it to Saturdays. Apparently, right after they removed it from the schedule they had two more boys parents call wanting to sign up for it and another parent whose son was in it last year who assumed her son was in even though she hadn't registered him for this year.

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Oh good!! I'm so glad they added the class back! But on a side note - don't worry about having your son be the only boy in class full of girls. I think I was more worried about that than he was. Honestly, if I had to really assess my son's classes, I think he has actually enjoyed some of the classes that he has had where he has been the only boy more than his all boy classes or classes where there have been some other boys. He likes the social aspect of having other boys around but since he takes dance so seriously I think he has found that since the girls seem to mature faster than the boys and, in general, take dance more seriously than most of the boys (at least at his age), he has gotten more out of the classes when he has been the only boy. I think he has sometimes gotten more attention in those classes from the teachers in a good way as well. Some of the teachers go out of their way to make sure they are giving him the correct attention as a boy and teaching him to do things correctly as a boy.

 

There is the issue with little boy behavior though. But the good news is that little boys grow up to be big boys and they grow out of the little boy behavior. My son is the one who had the issue with being singled out for acting like a boy so I know how frustrating it can be! I would definately stay away from the dance studios that are all pink and frilly and call everything "ballerina and princess" though!!

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He was the only boy in his summer jazz class but while he noticed and would tell people, it was more as information rather than complaint. What I noticed was that the girls didn't seem to go for it like he did, and like the boys class did last year. I don't know if this is normal for little girls (it's been way too long since I was one for me to remember :wink: ) but he dances with his whole body, while these girls danced with their feet. Not that he was doing it right and they were wrong, it's just that boy energy I think, exploding out everywhere!

 

I'm really glad he got the boys class where that's the norm and then his ballet class, where he'll be the only boy, and hopefully learn some control. In the perfect world of my head, that's how it'll work anyway :)

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Boys class ended up boy class today. My DS was the only one who showed, so he got a private lesson. They aren't giving up though and are pretty confident there will be at least 4 boys in class next week. I'm SO happy they're working this hard to keep this class going.

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